As a forager and lover of wild food, I think Nettles are up there as one of the most nutritious and versatile additions to any diet. They are perhaps one of the easiest plants to identify and their abundance and long season means that they are often visible everywhere from gardens to woodlands.
Nettles are especially rich in Iron and vitamins A & C and offer cleansing and detoxing properties. Not only do they benefit our diets, they also provide nourishment to our hair and skin when added to natural products.
We tend to use Nettles in much the same ways as we would use Spinach – in curries, soups, smoothies and juices. As soon as Nettles are heated, dried or blended they lose their sting but they do require a fair bit of caution when handling before hand! They make a wonderful tea using either fresh or dried leaves and can also be steeped overnight for a wonderful cleansing and iron rich morning tonic.
It is always a good idea to do some of your own research before foraging and make sure you are prepared. A good introduction to Nettles can be found here, and you can read more information about the foraging code of conduct here.